The NCAA officially announced the field for next month’s championships on Monday, with 15 CCSA skiers qualifying for nationals.
Northern Michigan led the way with six NCAA berths, qualifying a full allotment of three skiers each on both the men’s and women’s side. The Wildcats’ Chris Bowler, Kjell-Christian Markset and Erik Soderman will all suit up for the men’s events, while Molly Burger, Monica Markvardsen and Marie Helen Soderman will represent the women.
Alaska will also have five representatives at the NCAA’s, with Crystal Pitney, Marit Rjabov and Raphaela Sieber all qualifying for the women, and Logan Hanneman and Tyler Kornfield earning spots for the men.
Michigan Tech sends two qualifiers to the NCAA Championships for the second straight year. The Huskies’ Mikko Harju makes his second straight nationals appearance, while Deedra Irwin earns her first berth at NCAA’s on the women’s side.
Saint Scholastica also sends a pair to next month’s championships, marking the first season the Saints have ever earned two or more NCAA berths. Junior Jeremy Hecker and freshman Paul Schommer will both participate for the Saints.
This season’s NCAA Championships will be held March 7-10 at Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Center in Bozeman, Mont. The men’s 10K and women’s 5K freestyle races will be held on March 7, while the men’s 20K and women’s 15K classic events will be held on March 9.
To determine who will represent the Central Region, the CCSA scores student-athletes in each of the six NCAA qualifier races that he or she competes in over the season. The skier’s top two freestyle scores are then averaged together, as well as his or her top two classical scores. Those two numbers are then averaged together as well to create the skier’s overall score. Those athletes with the lowest overall score are then selected for the NCAA Championships, though each school is limited to a maximum of three athletes per gender.
This season, the CCSA was allotted eight men’s spots and seven women’s spots for the NCAA races. Those spots are determined by a region’s performance in previous NCAA appearances. The better a region’s athletes perform in a season, the more likely the region will be to earn more allotted spots in the following year.
Click here to view this season’s official points list.